I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me to explain what my company does. I get so excited and I start off with something like this: “Oh, we create professional development programs for teachers that are based around this assessment tool called CLASS (the Classroom Assessment Scoring System), which is all about observing how teachers interact with the students in their classrooms. You know, like, are the teachers maintaining a positive climate? Are they really clear in how they want their students to behave?”
. . . and I’ve just gotten a glazed-over look from whomever I'm speaking with. My excitement for CLASS results in too much information being thrown at them way too fast.
You too can prevent that look with these three free resources to share with teachers, parents, early education advocates, or anyone else interested in CLASS.
The What is CLASS? info sheet is the essential guide to CLASS. It’s one page, is easy to digest, and answers questions like, “What does CLASS even mean?” and “Where did CLASS come from?” For someone who’s never heard of CLASS or who isn’t interested in an overwhelming amount of research, this resource is ideal. Bonus: this handy guide is now available in Spanish, too!
A one-page guide is great for someone who’s never heard of CLASS, but what if your new instructional coach is dying for more on the subject? Send him our e-book, Why CLASS? Exploring the Promise of the CLASS. This little book has 27-pages covering topics like brain development in young children, research context for CLASS, and how CLASS improves child outcomes.
I love it especially for all the easy-to-skim charts and quotes worthy of updating my Facebook status: “Did you know that we acquire 85% of our intellect, personality, and skills by age five?!” Good stuff.
Maybe you have a friend who wants to learn more about CLASS, but they just don’t have time to sit down and read through a 27-page e-book. That’s fine, too. Just send her this 5-minute video called Effective Teacher-Child Interactions. In the time it takes to make a fresh pot of coffee, the video covers the three areas of focus in the pre-K CLASS tool and how it measures quality interactions. Plus, I’m a sucker for any footage of cute kids in the classroom.
Of course there are so many more free resources on our blog, in our webinars, or in the research summaries, but you can save those for later! I’d love to hear what resources you get excited about? What are we missing from our free resources? Let me know in the comments below!
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So, you’re dual-certified on the Infant and Toddler CLASS® tools. Congrats! Not only can you observe in Infant classrooms (birth to 18 months) and Toddler classrooms (15 to 36 months), but you can also observe in classrooms that contain a mix of the two age levels. If you are observing in a classroom with three age levels, as there often are in Family Day Homes, check out this guidance.
Observing in mixed age classrooms may seem daunting, but it’s completely doable. If you’re preparing to do Infant/Toddler CLASS observations, read on to get solutions to three of the most common challenges when observing in a mixed-age setting.
There is always an opportunity for interaction. Some opportunities are easily recognizable: times of play, free choice, centers, small group. We often see teachers engaged in activities alongside children during these times or hear questions being asked. Other opportunities might be a little less obvious. These are the times of your day that you might see as mundane moments that merely require your supervision or monitoring. The times where you’re going through the motions. “I’m doing this thing so I can move on to the next thing.”
In a previous blog, colleague and early childhood environment extraordinaire, Heather Sason, discussed how your classroom environment can help promote effective teacher-child interactions. In this blog, I propose we explore some of the often overlooked times in your day that are ripe for interactions with children and that do promote exploration, learning, and development!
Calvary City Academy & Preschool closed on March 13, along with most programs in Florida. While closed, we had much to prepare for reopening. While children were home, we prepared packets to send home, met with children virtually, and even hosted things like field day, spirit week, and graduation virtually! Even with those successes, we were so happy to be able to return to being in-person when we reopened in June. Since June, we’ve learned a lot. Here’s what’s working for us:
Across the nation, teachers learning about CLASS are asked to narrate their actions and sportscast their children’s experiences in order to support and encourage healthy language development. Hearing this, many teachers may wonder, “Will people think I’m crazy if I start talking to myself in the classroom?”
The answer is no. Self- and parallel talk are beneficial strategies for teachers to engage in because they strengthen language rich environments and enhance vocabulary development, all while supporting effective relationship building between teachers and children.